Mercury Transit 2016

We saw it!  Photo credit: Matt Wilson- who is a great mentor in astronomy!


We set up the TV 85 with the AstroZap 1001 Baader filter and watched the transit take place from 8 am through 1100.  The clouds got too bad and then completely overcast around then.  So we went to lunch and watched the rest on Slooh .   These folks did a fantastic job- showing many different live streams and at the same time having Astronomers come on and explain everything you can imagine about the transit.  Fact, Myths, Culture and everything in between.  It was fantastic!!  I hooked it up and played it through my 60″ TV and my wife and many others came over to the house and were interested in the broadcast as well.

When I set up my scope, which was a good test of packing up and going to another location other than my house, I was hoping I did everything right and sure enough that little guy showed right up!  My kids and I had big smiles on our faces!!  My kids smiles might have been from the donuts I bought for breakfast?!

At one point in the morning, I was watching the transit when an airliner flew right through my lens!  Way cool, I saw the black silhouette against the sun and the contrail was black as well.  I jumped back at first as it startled me, but then I looked and wow it was really neat!!  Later on some birds did the same thing.

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This transit set up allowed me to learn how to solar align the VX mount.  Way easy and I was lucky to have loaded my user manual into my iPhone.  I recommend doing this for all your astronomy stuff.  Makes having it handy in one place where the wind can’t blow it away.  For night time though I have to figure out how to red adapt the phone.  Any ideas??

Here is my high tech “Astrophotography”.


I do like sketching!  It’s a lot of fun and does a great job in helping you “see” things that other folks miss on quick glances and looks.  2043 sunspot was tough to see at times, but when I told my friend what to look for, it jumped right out at him.  I’m a big fan now of sketching to learn how to observe.  Try it.

Well that’s all for now-





  1. Nice report and glad you could see it. Sketching is a very nice pursuit that requires lots of dedication. I wish I was better at it. By the way, nice scope you have, very portable and of high quality. Enjoy it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. Of all the recent sky things, this is one I really wanted to see. Too bad Mercury’s so small, though. All I had around was a pair of eclipse glasses and some small binoculars. They didn’t do the trick. The next time’s only a couple of years away. Until then….!

    Liked by 1 person

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